Hello, peeps~! Titanic X here with Ron the True Fan for another fic, and this time, it's a collab! Yep! You heard right! This time, it's a crossover between Star Trek: Online and Star Wars. This one will combine the two into one, and possibly expand as we go on. Now, to get to the story!
Titanic X and Ron the True Fan present:
STAR WARS: FACETS
The Galactic Republic, soon to be the Galactic Empire. Currently at civil war with the Separatists and the regular soldiers. Behind the scenes one mind works to make the war turn in his favor. The Jedi are unaware of their impending fate. The people have no idea as to what's about to come. Only Time can tell which side will win, and so far things are not looking so good for either side. Countless years of war are starting to take their toll, and both parties are only getting more determined to end the war on their terms. But the mind behind the scenes knows that it will only end in his favor.
Something is slowly happening. The hands of Fate are churning. A new force is about to make its appearance to turn the war around, and not in the puppet master's favor…
Lacking Force abilities, but having an edge in technology and weaponry, this new force will turn the entire war upside down, and perhaps change the Republic for the better.
Only Time will tell...
The year is 2410 Anno Domini. The United Federation of Planets has finally ended the long and bloody conflict with the Klingon Empire to prepare for the greater threats in the Milky Way: the Borg, the Undine (or Species 8472, depending on who you ask) and the Iconians.
Both sides strengthen their ties with the Romulan Republic to prepare to face the demons of air and darkness, and develop new technologies to combat the Undine and the Borg.
But old foes linger, as the Dominion rebuilds its' forces, the Borg continue to force people into their Hive against their will, the Elachi continue to harass the Republic and the dying Romulan Star Empire tries to stay alive by any means necessary.
Now the Federation, the Klingons and the Romulan Republic are about to get drawn into another war that could change everything...both for themselves and for the galaxy at large.
Within darkened chambers, a man paced as he glanced at the monitors showing his troops in motion. His hooded cloak kept his face hidden, but if one were in the room, they would get a feeling of unimaginable power coming off this man. He stopped pacing and turned to face the shadows as a taller, more imposing form stepped out.
"How goes the mission?" he asked.
"It goes well, my Lord," the taller man said as he knelt. "So far no one suspects a thing."
"But that could very well change, you know," the hooded man said simply.
"I am well aware of that," the taller man remarked. His breathing was raspy, as if he had trouble breathing. His helmet glinted in what little light there was, and the black cloak he wore waved about his body as he stood. "And the operation?"
"We'll enact it when the time is right, my apprentice," the cloaked man said as he placed a withered looking hand on his apprentice's shoulder.
Suddenly, he tensed as he spun, feeling the Dark Side reaching out to him and granting him a vision of the future. His mind vanished from the real world into the misty vision, and he was surprised at what he saw.
A strange object was coming out of nowhere, but that was all he saw before the vision shifted, showing a mysterious symbol. All he could make out was a globe with something around it before it faded. A battle was shown in his mind's eye and he could see a whole fleet attacking his vast Imperial armada, and not just doing that, but inflicting massive damage to it. The vision that changed once more, this time revealing something truly astounding. More ships, mixed in with them, were attacking his Imperial Capital. The scene then blurred and he was shown the forces on the ground. Most of them were humans, but he could make out other aliens with them as well, and among them were…
One of them looked his way and their eyes widened before the vision abruptly ended, and he was back in his chambers, panting visibly as he felt his heart racing in his thin chest. "What...What in the name of the Force was that?" he whispered.
He had no idea, but it seemed to be significant.
He turned back to his worried apprentice. "Is everything all right, Master?" he asked.
"Everything is fine, my apprentice," the hooded man assured him. "Just prepare for the next attack. We are about to begin our next phase."
"Understood, Master," the masked man said.
As he left, the hooded man pondered his vision, and what it meant.
Of course, the future was not set in stone, but something told him to be ready.
Who knew what the future held...
Orbit over Yavin 4
'This day is really beginning to suck!' Jessica Miller thought as she flipped her ship over onto its back and fired off a barrage of missiles that hit the Separatist ship in the engines and blew it up. She turned her vessel around and sped off, engaging cloaking and firing off a barrage of lasers at the same time, taking out another one. Her eyes hardened as she darted past the wreckage as more ships chased after. "Why in the world they had to attack is well beyond me!" she muttered.
She turned and fired off more lasers, hitting another vessel, but the pilot had thrown up the shields and the lasers went every which way. She muttered a string of curses under her breath and sped past the attacking fighter, relying on her speed and agility to dodge more laser fire. Jessica's eyes hardened even more as she clenched the control stick and glanced at a small photo of her and her family back on her home world. After that attack, her parents and sister had moved to another world out of the range of fighting, but it could only last for so long.
And she had to keep herself safe at all times if she was to make it back alive like she had promised them.
She felt the vessel shudder as if in response to her will and she smiled. Those fighters were not going to stop her, no matter what they tried!
The human spun her ship around and fled past a few more vessels as they decloaked. "I don't think so!" she shouted.
But what decloaked last was a surprise to her.
It was a ship, that much she knew. Yet it was of a strange origin and design. She didn't know what to make of it, to be honest. But something told her that she had to avoid it.
She didn't heed that warning until it fired at her. She yelped and flipped her ship out of the way with a deft hand, relying on her incredible reflexes honed over five years of fighting in space battles. Her reaction time was practically inhuman, and she was using that to great effect as the unknown vessel fired a barrage of lasers at her that nearly took off the wings and rudders. She darted past it, firing off some lasers, but it didn't do much to the shields. Her eyes widened as she studied the readout in shock.
"No way…! My lasers had no effect on its shielding whatsoever?" she whispered.
The alarm suddenly blared and she dove, her ship barely avoiding a Separatist fighter attacking her from the rear.
"Damn! Not good!" she muttered.
Even she knew that her skills were no match for this thing!
She closed her eyes and began to pray.
As luck would have it, at that very moment, Fate heard her cry, and it happened.
A new ship was about to make its entrance, and the war would never be the same since!
Captain's Log, USS Ra-Cailum, Stardate 87005.7: The Ra-Cailum is on her way to the Hobus system on orders from Starfleet Command. Why we're heading for Hobus is beyond me: the system was sealed off after the supernova, and there's not much left there now. Regardless, we're armed and ready for an encounter with the Romulans, should any of Taris' forces remain behind. At least now that the war's over, we should be getting on the right track.
The Sovereign-Class USS Ra-Cailum dropped out of warp near the nearly destroyed Hobus system. Only a few fragments of planetoid remained after the nova that destroyed Romulus and Remus, so the system wasn't important anymore. Still, they had orders to head to Hobus, and they were doing just that. "Status?"
"ETA to Hobus is 4 minutes, Captain."
Ronald Pinkerton, wearing the older 2373-84 era Starfleet uniform (the newer ones looked ridiculous) tugged down his gray and black outer jacket, smoothing it out. "Keep us at yellow alert and tell those Peregrine pilots to stand by."
Lieutenant Asuka Isanami, the Ra-Cailum's helmsman, nodded as she guided the 685-meter long starship toward the system that changed everything in the Alpha Quadrant.
"I'm going to my ready room: Command had better have a good explanation what the hell we're doing here." He marched into his ready room, planting himself into his chair. "Computer, play recording, authorization Pinkerton 8-6-Alpha-Sigma."
The face of Admiral T'Nae appeared on the monitor screen. "Captain, you have been sent to the Hobus system because we have detected chronometric particles and a subspace rift there. I do not need to inform you of the dangers of this, Captain. T'Nae out."
The screen changed to show the emblem of the United Federation of Planets before fading. "Wonderful." He got up and marched out of his ready room, a sour look on his face.
"I take it that the assignment isn't exactly good news?" Asuka asked as she looked at him.
"Possible evidence of time travel. And that's never a good thing," Ron said.
The Ra-Cailum glided into the system, and directly in front of the ship was a kind of pale yellow hole in space. "Ok, that's new. Sensors?"
T'Lan, the ship's Vulcan science officer, glanced at the console as she began scanning. "It is nothing we have encountered before in Starfleet's history, Captain. And-" The tactical console began beeping out a warning.
Lieutenant Barry LeVar checked the console as to what was going on. "Sir, I'm picking up a distress call-several, in fact-from the other side of the rift." Ron sighed. cursing Starfleet protocols concerning distress calls.
"I hate protocol. All hands, go to red alert and prepare for rescue operations! Asuka, take us into the rift. Berry, launch a message buoy informing Starfleet of the situation!"
"Done, sir!" Ron marched back to his chair.
"Take us in, Asuka." Asuka's hands tapped on the controls, guiding the Ra-Cailum into the rift.
On the other side
Jessica was trying her damn hardest to stay alive, but that was easier said than done as she flipped her ship upside down. The alarm blared as her ship's sensors picked up an incoming signal. "Please… let it be someone who can help!" she pleaded.
The wormhole opened up just as she dodged a barrage of fire from the larger Separatist vessel, but barely.
The vessel that came out was of a far different design, having what appeared to be a saucer attached to a pair of long engine nacelles of some kind, and on its front was wording, but she had no idea what it meant, let alone even cared at the moment. All that mattered was whether it heard the signal she sent out, and if it was friendly.
Her hopes were answered as the newcomer opened up on the unknown vessel, its lasers firing at the Separatist ship, hitting its shields.
The turbolaser bolts seemed to impact the shields further out then she would've thought, and didn't seem to weaken the shields at all.
USS Ra-Cailum - Bridge
"Damage to shields is negligible: it's like they're using x-ray lasers or something."
"In a way, they are: they seem to be hybridized plasma/ion bolts with a laser-based core. The navigational shields are stripping the core away, limiting their damage potential greatly."
Ron summed the weapons up in two words. "Antique disruptors."
"VERY antique: the laser core was replaced with a nadion particle-based one less than 50 years after the technology was developed."
"Guess they didn't get the memo." The ship continued to spew bolts at the ship, but they were doing little to no damage to the shields. "Captain, shields are dropping to 99.8%. We could do this all day."
"Yes, but then I'd get a headache. Lock phasers on whatever counts at an energizer coil on that thing and knock out its' weapons!" Ron barked.
"Locking phasers. Firing!" Energy surged through the dorsal phaser array on the saucer section at opposite ends before meeting and sending an orange beam of nadion particle energy toward the roughly triangular-shaped ship, punching through the hull and hitting a major power conduit, causing a massive explosion that ripped through the ship, creating a massive hole in it.
"Barry, are you drunk or something?" Ron asked in exasperation.
"No, boss: I targeted what looked to be an energizer coil and fired."
The console sent out another warning. "Sir, a flight of...I think they're fighters is inbound."
Ron sighed as he thought about it. Whoever these people were, they used primitive weapons by 25th Century standards. If anti-ship weapons couldn't do a damn thing, what made them think fighters would be any better?
Her eyes were wide as the ship opened fire on the fighters, wiping out a few, but the rest dodged and fired back. The shields were taking what appeared to be no damage, and the ship was just wiping the floor with these guys!
Four exploded as they were hit by orange energy beams and two were clipped in the wings as they careened out of control and collided, exploding into pieces. The rest chose to bail out of there by fleeing as fast as they could, but one more got hit by a parting shot from the other vessel before exploding.
She was stunned. What in the world was that ship?
Her fighter shook as a bright light enveloped her ship, and suddenly she was no longer in space, but in some kind of hanger. "Hey! Can you understand me?"
She opened her eyes, and she was surprised to see another human looking at her. "Yeah. Why?" she asked.
"Thank God the universal translators still work. Your craft had an cracked seal: you were starting to lose atmosphere. We decided to beam you on board before you suffocated."
"Thanks," Jessica said as she undid the cockpit straps and opened the cockpit.
She leapt out and landed on her feet. Then she paused. "Wait. 'Beaming?' What are you talking about?" she asked as she looked the woman in the eyes.
"It's-gah, I'll explain later. I'm Commander Sonja Henderson. Welcome aboard the Federation starship Ra-Cailum. Now, I'm going to escort you to the bridge: Captain Pinkerton's going to want to know what the fuck is-"
"All hands, remain at battle stations: two more vessels detected approaching using something akin to transwarp drive!"
Jessica blinked at the message. "What's transwarp, and what is the Federation?" she asked as the two made their way out of the hangar.
"Look, I don't have time to give you a complete history lesson, lady. All you need to know right now is that we answered a number of distress calls from the other side of that wormhole and we went through to save your asses." Both women walked into some kind of lift.
"Main bridge," Sonja ordered.
The lift began to rise. "Can you at least tell me where you're from? As in what part of the galaxy?" Jessica asked.
"I was born on Mars colony, in the Sol system."
"Sol?" Jessica cocked an eyebrow.
"It's the solar system that the human homeworld, Earth, is in."
"Earth? Is that where humans originated?" she asked.
Sonja nodded. "Captain Pinkerton's actually from Earth: Kyoto, Japan, although he doesn't look it." The lift arrived at its destination, and the doors opened to allow them access to the bridge.
Jessica was shocked as she stepped into the bridge. "My God…" she breathed. "This is...amazing…!"
"Contacts will arrive in approximately 30 seconds, Captain!" a man manning one of the consoles said.
"Tell Peregrine teams one and two to prepare to launch: I want to focus on those contacts and nothing else."
"Aye, sir," the man replied.
As he finished giving the command, he turned to face the two women.
"Uh…" Jessica was intimidated a bit by his sheer size.
"You must be the pilot we beamed aboard. So, care to tell me what you people dragged my ship into?" he asked.
"Well...I was hoping to get some help…" Jessica squeaked. "But...I didn't expect you to be able to wipe out that Separatist ship so easily…"
"Doesn't help that that ship was over two millennia behind us technologically. Her weapons were nearly useless against our shields and our weapons were practically overkill."
"True. But still. Do you know what's going on here?" Jessica asked. Already her mind was racing as she realized what this meant.
The man shook his head. "No. All we know is that we answered a distress call and ended up in the middle of a battle in what appears to be an alternate universe. I expect a full debriefing as soon as we're done here."
"Ships are dropping out of transwarp, sir!" one of the officers reported.
Jessica glanced at the main screen and her eyes widened. "Oh, shit…!"
The ships were of Separatist origin entirely. And they were bristling with firepower. They were no doubt coming to avenge their fallen comrades.
"Tactical analysis: I want to know what they're capable of."
"Large number of cannon emplacements, but they're of the same type used by that other ship and their shields are extremely weak compared to even a Earth Starfleet ship from the 22nd Century." The man nodded. "Here's hoping they listen to reason."
"I doubt it," Jessica said.
"First tool in a Starfleet captain's gardening box is diplomacy, young lady. Barry, open a channel to the lead ship."
The man at the standing console-now known as Barry-pressed several buttons and a tone was heard. "Channel open, Captain."
"This is Captain Ronald Pinkerton of the United Federation of Planets starship Ra-Cailum. Stand down: I have no desire to get into a firefight with you. I am willing to talk to you if you will let me."
"I have no idea who you are, but we know you were the ones who took down our comrades' vessel! Plus, we have never even heard of this so-called Federation or whatever you come from! And I know that you happen to have in your custody a young woman who is known around these parts for wiping out any forces that happen to come close!" a male voice said. "So, hand her over and we will let you live!"
"Captain, don't be foolish. Have your science stations run a scan of my ship: you know I outgun you greatly. I do not want more bloodshed. Please, stand down."
"Fine!" The comm shut down briefly as they waited.
Jessica was tense, for she knew that even despite their shielding and firepower, there was no way this could stand up to what it was that she had seen a few months ago under construction. And that was why she needed to stay on the move.
Her thoughts were interrupted as the comm came online again.
"All right! You win this time! But next time, you won't be so lucky!" the captain of the other vessel snapped.
The man, now known to Jessica as Ronald Pinkerton, nodded. "Glad you saw it my way, sir. I'm more then willing to have you on board as a guest so I-"
The comm was cut and the ships turned around before fleeing to hyperspace.
"I try to be diplomatic, and people keep brushing me off. What the hell is it?"
"People just don't like you before they get to know you," Sonja remarked.
"Bah." He looked at Jessica. "I need to know what the hell's going on, young lady. You'll be briefing me and my senior staff in an hour."
"If you tell me the hell what the Federation is," Jessica said. "Sound good?"
Ron snorted. "I don't need to tell you. All you need to do is sit down at a computer terminal: you can pull up the political and historical information on the UFP almost anywhere on this ship."
"All right." Jessica nodded. "But only if someone can fix my fighter."
"Easily done. Our sensors scanned your shuttle: we can make better replacement parts for it," Sonja remarked.
Jessica whistled in amazement. "You've got powerful sensors for a warship, Captain."
"This isn't a warship. It's a ship of exploration," Ron stated.
"But…" Jessica was shocked. An exploration vessel...that was this armed? There was no way in hell that a ship of this caliber could be an exploration vessel! She staggered back, placing a hand to her head. "Is… That… This is impossible! There is no way this could be a mere exploration vessel!" she replied.
"Well, she is. Well, the Sovereign-Class in general was built to explore the outer reaches of known space, but she's well-armed just in case we run into trouble." He walked back to the central chair and sat down. "Better than the Galaxy-Class, that's for sure." He glanced at a blue-skinned woman with white hair and a pair of antennae on her head.
"Tarae, escort our friend to guest quarters: make sure she's comfortable during her stay."
Jessica blinked in shock at her appearance, but said nothing, having seen a number of alien species in her travels. The alien woman led her out of the bridge and to the same lift she had used prior.
"Deck 7, guest quarters." The doors closed and the lift started moving. "Uh..." She looked at Jessica. "Yes?"
"What...are you?" the human asked.
"I'm an Andorian," Tarae said.
"Oh. Okay. Sorry," Jessica remarked. "I… I just never saw an alien like you before." She looked back at the lift's door. "A lot of things have happened since I left my home world, and I've been on the move ever since. So...in truth, I don't know if I can trust you guys, even though you saved me."
"Well, you've got nothing to fear as long as you don't try anything to compromise the security of this ship or endanger her crew." The lift stopped and the doors opened, allowing them to exit the lift and walk into a corridor. "There are 32 decks on this ship: 24 primary, 8 secondary and usually unused. She's 685 meters long, capable of a maximum speed of Warp 9.97, and built to survive almost anything the universe can throw at her." Tarae led her to a door, which opened automatically. "Your quarters. If you need anything, don't hesitate to call either me or the Captain: he's a personable man and likes getting to know people. As long as they aren't trying to kill him."
Jessica nodded. "Right. Thanks." She stepped into the room and the door closed shut behind her. She glanced around the room, taking note of the setup and layout. It was a lot better than having to sleep in her fighter, but then again, it did get kind of cramped after a while. She took off her pilot uniform and tossed it onto the bed, stretching.
Underneath her uniform she wore a white tank top that exposed toned arms and a pair of black jeans with combat boots. It felt good to get out of that thing. She headed over to the bed and flopped back onto it, laying her head on the pillow and nearly conking out. She forced herself to stay awake, even though she was tired beyond belief.
Her stomach growled, reminding her that she hadn't eaten in quite some time. "Great. Where the hell am I going to get something to eat at this hour?" A tone answered her before a voice began to speak. "The replicator can create any foodstuff you request within reason."
She perked up and sat up. "Where's this...replicator...located?" she asked as she narrowed her eyes and looked around the room.
A slot lit up on the far end of the room.
Jessica got off the bed and walked over. "Now how does this thing work?" she wondered as she examined it.
The same voice answered her. "Request an item from the database." A screen above the slot showed hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of food items. It was difficult to pick, mostly because she couldn't read a word of it.
Her eyes narrowed as she studied the list. The first thing that came to her mind was a dish she had back on her home world before she left. "Spaghetti and meatballs."
A field of energy appeared within the slot, then a plate full of what she requested appeared inside it, steaming and ready to be devoured.
Her stomach growled again and she grabbed the plate. She walked over to the table and sat down, her eyes landing on some silverware close by. She grabbed them and began to eat. Her mind was flooded with memories of her parents and sister, but she kept herself in check. It didn't take her long to finish and when she was done, she scooted the chair back and stood up. "May as well see what this ship is like."
USS Ra-Cailum - Bridge
The bridge was a busy place, as crewmen walked from station to station, trying to get their work done and keep operations as smooth as possible. At this moment in time, Ron had ordered them to get a subspace communications link up and sent back through the rift so he could contact Starfleet Command and inform them of the situation. "Sir, the relay has been set up: we're ready to launch the satellite through the rift."
"Send it back via a type-7 shuttle: I don't want it getting damaged on the way through," Ron said.
USS Ra-Cailum - near saucer section shuttlebay
Jessica finally exited the lift she had recently entered. The bay she emerged into was large, and she could see that her ship was still there, along with a shuttle of some kind. The vessel was shaped like a capsule of some kind, but with two smaller nacelles. It had a small entrance on the back and on the side was the ship's number. The color was white, a stark contrast to the dark grey and black coloring on her ship.
"Huh. Strange looking shuttlecraft," she muttered.
A warning klaxon was heard, and she heard the voice from before (likely something automated) say something about 'opening shuttlecraft bay doors'.
She looked around and her eyes widened as she realized what was happening. Thinking fast, she turned and ran for the nearest space, which just so happened to be a doorway leading into some sort of tube. She closed the door and stood there as something began to happen outside.
She didn't hear the characteristic sound of air rushing out, which confused her greatly. She opened the hatch, then saw the shuttle hover in the air for a moment before flying through the open bay doors, which had a blue light lining the hatch just before the doors began to close.
"What was that about?" she muttered.
She turned just as footsteps echoed, only to see another person enter the shuttle bay.
"Alright, prep the Achilles for launch. Captain wants two relays: one on both ends. Get to work people!"
"Got it, Commander." Jessica spotted Sonja directing the team, getting another shuttle, this one more streamlined, ready for launch.
"Hey! Sonja!" she called.
Sonja glanced at Jessica and shook her head. "You know, I thought you would be in your quarters, reading up on the Federation."
"Sorry. I was too curious and wanted to explore. I kind of got lost and wound up here," Jessica admitted sheepishly. "I'll get to it later." Then she glanced around the shuttle bay. "What was happening here?"
"Captain Pinkerton wants a comm link with our people, and the best way to do that is to have two relays: one on our end, one on this end," Sonja explained.
"But why wasn't anything sucked out into space?" Jessica wondered. "I mean… I've been on ships where it's happened or where I triggered the opening of the hatch and was sucked out in my fighter, but… why didn't anything like that happen here?"
The engineer grinned. "Atmospheric force field: keeps the air in, but allows things to go out. Standard issue on all Federation starships."
"So that's what that blue light on the hatch is?" the fighter pilot asked.
"Force field emitters. The light shows that the field is active."
"Oh. I get it now." Jessica glanced back at the empty spot where the shuttles had been. "How many shuttles can this thing carry?" she asked.
"The Ra-Cailum's got over 60 shuttles on board at the moment, but we can carry over a hundred if need be. We've also got three squadrons of Peregrine-Class fighters on board: Captain likes to be prepared to fight carriers," Sonja explained.
"So, in other words, prepared for almost anything, right?" Jessica asked.
"More or less. But this ship was made to encounter the unknown. Risk is our business, after all."
At that moment, warning klaxons went off. "All hands, stand to battle stations: repeat, yellow alert, stand by at battle stations. Unknown vessels approaching at transwarp."
"Dammit!" Jessica muttered. "I'm betting anything that it's more of the Separatists!"
"Let's get to the bridge: the Captain's going to need you there. After that, I'm heading to main engineering." She led her out of the shuttlebay, herding her into a lift. "This turbolift'll take you to anywhere on the ship as long as you tell it to. Just tell it to take you to the bridge."
Jessica nodded. "Thanks, Sonja." The lift doors closed and Jessica spoke to the computer. "Bridge."
The lift began to rise.
It didn't take her long to arrive at the bridge. The doors slid open and she stepped out into the bridge, noticing at once that it was bustling as crewmen went back and forth, getting ready for battle stations.
"How many contacts?" Ron asked.
"At least 6, maybe more, sir," someone said.
"Standby on phasers, load photon torpedo tubes on hot standby: let's try and talk our way out of this," Ron said.
The crew member he was speaking to nodded. "Aye, sir."
"Captain!" Jessica said. "What's happening?"
"Six ships are inbound at transwarp speed. No ID on them, but considering that we have almost no knowledge of this universe, that's par for the course," Ron told her.
"Maybe if you bring up a visual I can ID them for you," she offered. "I was on the move for the last five years, so I encountered all kinds of ships."
"Contacts dropping out of transwarp in 20 seconds!"
"Well, we're about to find out. Peregrine teams, standby to launch."
"5, 4, 3, 2, 1!"
Jessica watched as the main monitor showed the fighters launching. They looked different from the shuttles she had seen, and were unlike her fighter in shape. Whereas her ship had straight wings, these had curved wings and lacked the rudder assembly. They possessed two nacelles and were clearly armed, but not as heavily as her ship.
The viewing screen then showed a small fleet of CIS warships, consisting of two Lucrehulk-class battleships, one Munificent-class frigate, and one Subjugator-class, along with numerous starfighters, each manned by a droid.
"Oh...shit…" Jessica whispered.
"Barry, tactical analysis," Ron ordered.
"Just like the last two ships we ran into: lots of low-powered disruptor cannons, minimal shielding. I think a photon torpedo or two would destroy them," Barry reported.
Ron nodded. "That's a last resort, and you know it. Open a channel to the lead vessel: let's take another stab at diplomacy before getting into another shooting match."
The man nodded and opened up the comm.
"Channel open, sir."
"This is Captain Ronald Pinkerton, commanding the USS Ra-Cailum. May I ask what it is you want and are doing here?" Ron asked.
"This is the CIS vessel, the Rothram. I am the commanding officer of this fleet. Who I am is of no importance right now. All I know is that you have become involved in a major war. We are giving you a fair warning to retreat from our space at once, or be forced to suffer our wrath. We do not wish to do this, but orders are orders," the commander of the fleet said.
"Sir, if you have scanned my ship, you know I have more armament than all of your ships combined. I am more then willing to talk, and get a better understanding of the situation. Perhaps we can end your war without causing any more bloodshed on your respective parts."
"I appreciate the offer. We cannot, unfortunately, end it. I am willing, however, to share the information you seek. Just be warned that it may not be what you want. And for the matter, there may be more at work than you realize. The young woman you have rescued from my fellow commanders has the information you need. Just be careful. There are shadows that lurk and sometimes shift, giving commands to those fighting the war." The tone in the commander's voice was clearly sad, but the stuff he said was intriguing to the captain. "I shall send you the data you requested. And your greater firepower may be just what is needed to end this war in the favor of those wanting a better hope for their futures."
"Understood, Captain. Thank you for avoiding a battle that didn't need to be fought."
"Not all of us are battle hungry, Mr. Pinkerton. Some of us wish to end this war, but we cannot without arousing suspicion in both parties. Particularly our enemy. Be careful. And use this data well. It may change the fate of the galaxy for the better." The comm shut down and one of the consoles beeped, indicating that a data packet had been sent.
It was quite large for a data packet, but it was small enough to be stored in the database of the Ra-Cailum.
"Data received, sir. They're activating their transwarp drives and preparing to leave the area."
"That's unexpected of them," Jessica said. "But then again, I'm not that surprised."
"We have a lot more firepower than they do: they must've decided that discretion was the better part of valor." He looked at a woman with pointed ears wearing a blue version of the uniform.
"T'Lar, take a good long look at the packet." He tapped the badge on his left breast. "Sonja, get that relay set up ASAP: I need to talk to Starfleet Command about the situation."
"The Achilles is moving into position now, Captain. They'll deploy the relay in 30 seconds."
Jessica glanced at Ron. "So, when these relays go up, communications will be established, right?" she asked.
The captain nodded. "That's the general idea. I need to contact my superiors about this situation. Hopefully, the Federation Diplomatic Corps can help resolve this without causing more death on either side, and we might be able to set up some sort of trade agreement between our universes."
"Should be simple enough," Jessica remarked. "But something tells me that it may be a lot more difficult… Especially since something is brewing that could mean the end for my home organization."
Sonja contacted him at that point. "Captain, we have a connection to the Federation communications network."
"Very good: get me a link to Starbase 39-Sierra. I need to talk to Admiral T'Nae as soon as possible," the captain replied.
The officer in charge of the comm station nodded and went to work, typing in the commands and within a few minutes a screen came up, showing a logo Jessica had never seen before in her life. The name gave away which organization it belonged to.
She was about to meet one of those from the United Federation of Planets that led this man's forces.
A dark-skinned woman with the same pointed ears as the woman at the science station wearing a different uniform then the rest of the crew appeared on the viewscreen, clearly sitting at a desk. "Captain Pinkerton. I assume you have something to report?"
"Yes, ma'am. We found the contact that appeared on sensors: it's a kind of inter-universal rift." Ron began to relay the events of what happened, leaving nothing out.
Jessica watched as this happened, and at one point the woman wanted to talk to her. So when she began to speak, her body was shaking a bit. She was quite surprised by this. She hadn't been this nervous in a long time, so why was she acting like this now?
By the time the situation was explained, the Admiral(?) was studying them with a cool, calm gaze.
"Captain, Starfleet regulations prevent us from giving any sort of material or military aid to either side in this war," she said. "However, we do have an opportunity to create a peace in that area. I will reroute several starships to secure the Hobus system, along with a construction team to build a permanent base of operations in that area."
Ron nodded. "Understood, Admiral."
"Your new mission is to head to the warring factions capital worlds and make contact with their leadership. We cannot afford to have a raiding force, no matter how so close to Federation and Klingon territory. We just came out of one war: we cannot afford to get involved in another bloody conflict so soon."
"Starbase 39-Sierra out." The screen returned to a starfield.
Jessica turned to face him. "So, now what?" she asked.
"We need a map of the galaxy and the location of those capital worlds. I hope you can provide them, young lady?"
She nodded. "Sure can. They're in my fighter's database. I can transfer them, if you want."
"Get it done." Ron sat back down in his chair. "Keep us at yellow alert: I don't want us to get shot at without the ability to shoot back."
Jessica turned and left, heading for the hangar bay where her fighter was stored.
It didn't take long for her to get in the cockpit and transfer the requested information to the ship's database. By the time she was done, she was getting tired. Her body was trying to tell her to go to sleep, but she forced herself to stay awake. She needed to be awake a bit longer to tell Ron the situation and then she could rest.
"We're going to need the specs for those transwarp drives, depending on where they are in relation to our location."
Jessica turned to meet Sonja looking back at her.
"Oh, Sonja!" Jessica hopped out of the cockpit and landed on her feet. "You want those specs? Well, I don't have them at this point. Sorry."
Sonja grunted once. "Well, shit. It's a good thing we scanned those ships from earlier: I might be able to juryrig something."
"Yeah. Anyway, when's the briefing? I can barely keep my eyes open and I need some rest. Four days on the move with little sleep is finally catching up to me…" Jessica yawned and stretched.
She felt something touch her neck, followed by a quiet hiss as she felt more awake. "What the-" She looked at Sonja, who held a kind of boxlike device in her hand. "Hypospray with a stimulant. You'll be awake for a few more hours."
"Thanks," Jessica said.
The download was finished in less than five minutes, and Sonja began uploading it into the Ra-Cailum's computers. "You get back to the bridge: Captain's going to want to debrief you before we jump into transwarp."
Jessica nodded. "Right."
She headed over to the lift. "Bridge."
The lift took her straight to the bridge and once the doors opened, she was met by Ron.
"Follow me." She followed Ron into a slightly curved room off the bridge. One side was devoted to what appeared to be a number of model ships encased in a glass cabinet and in the middle of the room was a large table with what appeared to be built in computers. A pair of windows showed the outside of space as they sped past countless stars.
Ron sat at the end of the table, clearly denoting his place as captain of the ship. "You're going to need to explain the whole story, miss. I suggest starting from the beginning."
She nodded. "Right. Well, to make it short, there's a war going on between my home organization, the Galactic Republic, and a group of separatists called the Confederation of Independent Systems. Both sides are practically matched, and so far, the Republic is holding its own. But lately something unusual has been happening, and my home planet was recently attacked because of something we found out five years ago.
"My mother was a commander in the Republican Army and my father was a Star Destroyer captain. My sister was a fighter pilot like me. Everyone was off world when the planet was attacked, so they were safe. But afterwards, we took what we knew and moved to an out of the way desert world that no one has really bothered about.
"My dad took his ship and went rogue, feeling it was best to fight both parties and try to figure out what the hell was going on. Same with my mom and sister. I was already on the move, feeling that it was too risky to stay in one place. I snagged a fighter and took off. Been on the move for five years now, going on six.
"But that's beside the point. The real matter is that I fear the Republic may be ending and that democracy will be overcome by tyranny one day. I've got evidence to prove it, but so far no one is willing to listen to me. My folks and sister knew, but they kept it hidden from even me until I discovered it myself." Jessica took in a breath and let it out.
"So far though no one in the Republic suspects a thing. But that may change as this war continues."
Ron smirked a bit. "Well, now there's a new player in this debacle: us."
"Captain, this is Sonja: the location of both capital worlds are halfway across the galaxy from our position."
"That makes things difficult," he mused.
"Thankfully, I can modify the deflector to create something like the transwarp conduits the locals use to make the trip faster. I don't want to spend 80 years at high warp."
Ron nodded. "Do it. And set a course for the Republic capital, all ahead full."
The Ra-Cailum's engines began to whine as power was sent directly to them. The next thing Jessica knew, the vessel lurched and she staggered. "Whoa!"
"Guess the IDF field needs to be calibrated for whatever you people use for FTL around here." The Ra-Cailum was now inside hyperspace, although the crew of the ship didn't know it.
Jessica looked back. "So, now that we're en route, we need a plan."
"Plan is simple: arrive, hail the planetary defense force and tell them we mean no harm and are just there to talk."
She nodded. "Right." Although she had a bad feeling about the whole thing.
And she was right in more ways than one, even if she didn't know it at the time.
"Anomaly detected: coordinates 35 by 154, Grid 648 Gamma. Scanning. Anomaly can be created by subspace disruption. Beginning." A rift opened in front of the vessel, and it ended up in the other universe, same as the Ra-Cailum. "A vessel has been detected: Bearing 048 Mark 055." A vessel colored light grey with subtle yellow bow stripes emerged from subspace and hovered right in front of them.
"Scanning communications systems. Match found. Engaging audio message. Prepare tractor emitters." The voice of many beings echoed through the comm. "We are the Borg. Lower your shields and surrender your vessel. We will add your biological and technological distinctiveness to our own. Your culture will adapt to service us. Resistance is futile." The Borg had arrived. And there was no one that could stop them.